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Omicron and Your Holiday Plans

Now that Omicron has been detected in the United States, many are questioning how holiday plans could be impacted. According to Dr. Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and member of the White House Covid Response Task Force, the guidance for gathering has not changed. 

If you are vaccinated and your family is vaccinated, you can enjoy the holidays indoors and mask free with little risk. Many Americans travel over the course of the winter holidays. Travelling does increase the risk of infection, however you can lower your risk by being fully vaccinated with a booster, wearing a mask in airports and complying with federal masking requirements when on the aircraft.  

If you are unvaccinated, masking indoors is recommended; however, outside activities are safer options. The CDC advises delaying travel for those not fully vaccinated.

Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated, including children ages 5 to 11 years who are now eligible, is strongly encouraged to do so as data shows that unvaccinated people have a higher risk of infection, severe disease and death. Boosters are strongly recommended for those who have already received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson and are eligible — that is, you received a second Pfizer or Moderna shot more than 6 months ago and are age 18+ years or you received a Johnson & Johnson shot more than 2 months ago. 

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If you have any symptoms of covid or have been exposed to covid, you should not attend any gatherings and obtain testing.

Nicole Burgett-Yandow, NP has a Masters Degree in Nursing with over 19 years of health care experience. Currently, she practices at Winchester Hospital Center for Weight Management as well as providing after hours on call coverage for patients within the Atrius system. She has worked in a variety of settings including primary care and infectious disease. She has been a Tewksbury resident since 2009 and has two kids in the Tewksbury Public Schools.

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